This Is 60
Hello my friends! I am writing to you now as a woman who is 60 years young! That’s right, a couple of weeks ago I celebrated a milestone birthday here in LA. I was so touched that so many friends and family members flew in from Texas to celebrate with me, including a surprise appearance by my mother! My sister and sister-in-laws, my niece, my amazing friends (from here and Texas) and of course Bruce and the kids all made me feel so loved - my heart could burst!
Leading up to my birthday a few people asked me how I felt about turning sixty. I have to say that I have never been the type of person to dread a big birthday. I know that a lot of people use any birthday with a “0” at the end of it as a specific mile marker for certain life accomplishments. Instead of using big birthdays as a deadline, I prefer to use “the big ones” ending in “0” as an opportunity to reflect and appreciate every moment and achievement (no matter how small) that has brought me to where I am today.
An Honest Admission
Before I get started there is something that I wanted to share with all of you. This is actually version 2 of this blog post. I wrote an entirely different blog post about turning 60. It was a nostalgic post about all of the things that have happened in the last 10 years, mainly focused on my family’s accomplishments. I talked about my pride in my children for the graduate degrees that they earned, finding love and joyous weddings, as well as their career accomplishments. After sitting on the post for awhile I realized something: those are all things that my children achieved, not me. Now don’t get me wrong, raising my children will always be my greatest accomplishment. However, the key word there is “raising”. My children are grown adults now. Bruce and I poured our hearts and souls into giving them a childhood filled with love, lessons and guidance. We tried to give them the best foundation possible so that when they became adults they would have a strong starting point. They are my pride and joy, but their accomplishments are 100% their own. We set them on the path, but they deserve all of the credit for the things they have done since then.
So I went back to the drawing board and re-evaluated the last 10 years of my life. What was my best example of MY personal growth? The answer is simple; my blog. This may sound silly to some of you since I am a blogger, but I really struggle with technology. When I was a teacher, technology was never a big part of my job. As someone who has been retired for a while now I never needed to quite understand how “the cloud” worked or what happened up there. I loved following and reading other people’s blogs, and I felt that I had a lot of ideas I could share with people online, but the thought of starting my own was down right intimidating. How do you even start a blog? How do you build a website? Who can help you with these things? These were all thoughts, dreams and questions that I kept to myself...until one day I didn’t.
I was having lunch with a friend and I got up the courage to say it out loud. “I would love to start my own blog but I have no idea where to start”. I said the words out loud and the funniest thing happened; my friend thought it was a great idea! Not only was she incredibly supportive of this idea that I had been holding onto for so long, but she also knew a few people that could help me!
With an assist from some tech savvy women I launched Lemonade To Lace in 2015! I was up and running but I relied heavily on a few select people to actually build my posts in Wordpress, and edit photos. I was taking baby steps as I got comfortable with the whole process. I became familiar with how the cloud worked and I started using Google Drive. Instagram came along and I embraced it. I surrounded myself with supportive, smart people and I leaped out of my comfort zone y’all!
The Next Ten Years - Bring It On
Am I technology whiz now? Nope! Do I continue to challenge myself? Absolutely. Earlier this year I decided to give my blog a makeover. I switched from WordPress to SquareSpace because I wanted to be more hands on with building my posts. SquareSpace has a more user-friendly interface that allows someone with my skill level to easily navigate the process without having to know how to code or anything like that. I’ve also been learning how to properly edit photo sizes with online software similar to Photoshop. For those of you who have a deeper understanding of technology, this might seem minor to you. But for me, editing pixel sizes was like a foreign language to me a few years ago. I have to write everything down and occasionally I need someone to teach me something again, but I am doing my best and it has felt very rewarding. I try not to compare myself to other people because as Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’m friends with bloggers like The Evolista who I know for a fact hand codes her entire website, something she self-taught herself by watching YouTube videos. I am in absolute awe of her ability, the beauty of her website and her kind personality. However, I will never be as tech-savvy as my talented friend… and I’m ok with that! I’m happy with the blogger I have grown to be. I look forward to the next ten years of my life and the personal growth and adventure that is yet to come.